Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"Do not underestimate him."
Seraphina Picquery's warning about Grindelwald's power[src]

Gellert Grindelwald's escape was an early conflict of the global wizarding war and a victory for the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald and his Acolytes. It took place on a stormy night on 30 May 1927, in the skies and surrounding area of New York City, New York, USA, as the International Confederation of Wizards prepared Grindelwald's extradition to Europe.


The attempted extradition

The Thestral-drawn carriage takes flight from the MACUSA platform at the top of the Woolworth Building

On 30 May 1927, International Confederation of Wizards sanctioned Gellert Grindelwald's extradition to take place and Grindelwald was supposed to be transported from MACUSA's prison to Europe in and Incarceration Carriage by Rudolph Spielman and Aurors, to be put on trial for the crimes he committed in Europe. Prior to the move, due to Grindelwald's gift of persuasion, he had his tongue cut out, as several guards had sided with him.

The true Grindelwald using the Elder Wand from atop the carriage

President Picquery cautioned Spielman to not underestimate Grindelwald. Meanwhile, Grindelwald was loaded inside the Thestral carriage with Spielman and two guards, with his hands bound behind his back. At the last minute, Abernathy also showed up with a case supposedly containing Grindelwald's wand, claiming the wand was found during a search. At President Picquery's prompting, Abernathy also revealed a silver vial on a chain, and said that it was also found in the search. Spielman took possession of the vial to safe-keep it for the trip. The trip went underway with Thestrals driving the carriage, along with various Aurors riding broomsticks who followed.[2]

Unbeknownst to the guards and the MACUSA President, Grindelwald and Abernathy had managed to use human transfiguration and switch appearances. When the carriage with the false Grindelwald set off, Grindelwald, still disguised as Abernathy, disapparates from the MACUSA platform and apparates underneath the carriage, using the Elder Wand.[3]

In mid-flight, Abernathy's disguise was revealed inside the carriage to the officials present. The true Grindelwald apparated on top of the carriage behind the driver's seat. Grindelwald attacked the drivers one at a time, throwing them off the carriage. As one driver flew back, he unseated the two Aurors from the back of the carriage.[4]

Spielman and the two Aurors being jabbed by their wands

Grindelwald made the wands of the two Auror guards and Spielman point at their own throats instead of at Abernathy inside the carrier, and later caused Spielman's wand to vanish. Grindelwald then appeared by the window, and Spielman in panic opened the box he was holding. He found only Antonio, Grindelwald's Chupacabra, which attacked him.[5]

Spielman's wand disappears

When Spielman attempted to alert the footmen Aurors, unaware that they had been previously disposed of, Abernathy lunged at him and knocked the silver vial loose. The two guard Aurors struggled with Abernathy, while Abernathy tried to get a hold of the vial. Abernathy could use only his mouth, as his hands were still bound behind his back. When Spielman tried to recover the vial, Abernathy bit his wrist.

Grindelwald then gained control of the driver's seat, aware of the fight below him and the Aurors pursuing behind. Taking control of the reins, Grindelwald drove the carriage down to the Hudson River, with the wheels and thestral hooves grazing the water. One of the Aurors crashed his broomstick into a bridge caisson during the chase. Then Grindelwald, using his wand, filled the carriage with water from the river in order to subdue the struggle. This allowed Abernathy to get hold of the vial. Grindelwald then drove the carriage from the river and into the clouds.[5] Still pursued by at three of the Aurors, Grindelwald caused lightning to strike them with his wand, knocking all three from the sky.[6]

Grindelwald then left the thestrals to drive themselves. He blasted off the carriage door with his wand, causing the river water to burst out, along with the two Aurors inside. Spielman managed to stay in his seat, cringing. Grindelwald climbed inside, retrieved the silver vial, and restored Abernathy's tongue with a split, reptilian one. He then proceeded to ruthlessly throw out his Chupacabra of the carriage, who was trying to cuddle with him, calling the creature "so needy." Grindelwald then dangled Spielman from the open doorway. Spielman's wand then reappeared, being held in his hand.

Spielman's timely cast Slowing Charm

Grindelwald finally threw Spielman from the carriage through the open doorway, but dropped down his wand after him.[7] Spielman then fell from the sky and would have nearly hit the water below at impact, but he managed to save his live with a timely cast Slowing Charm, slowing his fall and allowing him to fall safely into the water.[8]


Gellert Grindelwald and a Thestral in POP! Vinyl form

Notes and references

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 3 specifies that the attempted extradition of Grindelwald took place following six months of imprisonment; since Grindelwald was detained following the events of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film), which took place in December 1926, this would mean that this event took place in around May or June 1927. Even though the exact date is not given in the published screenplay, a The New York Ghost prop from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald announcing Grindelwald's impending extradition (see this image) is dated "Monday, 30 May 1927".
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 5
  3. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 6
  4. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 10
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 12
  6. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 14
  7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 15
  8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 16